Nov 28


Gingerbread House Ideas

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It’s become a tradition of mine to make a gingerbread house every Christmas season.  As usual, I turned to Teresa Layman’s books Gingerbread for All Seasons and Gingerbread: Things to Make and Bake for templates and inspiration.  This is what I ended up with:


Below is the back:

gingerbread house gingerbread man lollipop

fondant snowman for gingerbread house

The fondant snowman is all edible except for the toothpick as his nose.

ginger bread house icicles

To make the icicles, use a #2 piping tip and use flood icing.  For the recipe see here.

Begin at the roofline and pipe a enough of a bead of icing so that it adheres, then squeeze and pull.  Let go of the pressure when you’re happy with the length of the icicle and gently pull down.

gingerbread man flood work

gingerbread girl lollipop tree

I made the back and interior of the the house a bit more whimsical with royal icing ‘run-outs’ or ‘flood-work’.  {Basically royal icing piped on parchment paper or acetate paper.  If you’d like to use acetate paper, make sure you lightly coat it with shortening/lard}.

disco dust jube jubes

As usual, I couldn’t resist using disco dust.  These are supposed to be jube-jubes.

inside of gingerbread house christmas tree

inside of gingerbread house

The inside was pretty basic with a Christmas tree, candy gifts and some sticker-inspired flood work.

I seem to get a lot of questions regarding the trees every year.  They’re so simple to make!

undecorated ice cream cones for gingerbread house

Begin with ice cream cones of any size.  Various sizes look nice as well.  You can gently break your cones or stack them to make the ‘trees’ larger or smaller.

unfinished ice cream cone trees

You’ll need to use a thick or stiff icing for the trees.  I used Teresa Layman’s recipe.

Holding the cone by the tip, pipe stiff green ‘stars’ using a #18 tip.  Any star or leaf tip works really and you can pipe small, tight stars or larger, longer ones.  Whatever your preference.  Begin at the base, piping one row at a time, and work your way upwards until you almost reach the top.

Since you need a place to grip the cone, stop piping near the tip and let the icing dry.  Once it is firm, you can gently hold on to the bottom of the tree and finish the rest.  Voila!

ice cream cone tree for gingerbread house

This tree has a little bit of icing sugar dusted over it as well.

I did end up entering the house into my first competition.

Gingerbread House 2009 Competition

Every year our local museum holds a Gingerbread House Competition to raise money for Christmas Cheer – a charity for local families in need.

silver gingerbread award

I ended up with silver in the professional category, representing the school where I teach and Sweetopia.

winning gingerbread house cakes by design

First prize went to Cakes by Design with their adorable house and figurines.

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to attend the award ceremony as I was in class with Peggy Porschen, but I was able to get a few shots of the other houses when I delivered my house.  I loved Whoville and so many of the unique ideas!

whoville gingerbread village

gingerbread house santas sleigh

cupcake castle gingerbread house

gingerbread cabin

Happy gingerbreading if you decide to make one this year!



Christmas Gingerbread House on Sweetopia

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  1. December 5, 2012 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Mariam, I actually liked your house the best in all the pictures above.
    I think your work (even cookies) has a certain clean and elegant finish to it. All your work is absolutely professional. I love your cookies and only wish I had the patience. I do cookies as part of my business and it’s an effort but I specialize in cakes. I would rather do a cake anytime.
    Thanks for sharing your tutorials, they are very helpful.

  2. Bianca
    December 7, 2012 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I was amazed about how you made that fantastic gingerbread house, I was just wondering how you made the chimney. Is it fondant decorated with royal icing or else?
    Thanks a lot and Merry Christmas.

    Bianca from Italy

  3. December 7, 2012 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Aw, so sweet, @ Veena Azmamov, thank you!

    @ Bianca: It’s gingerbread dyed pink, then scored chimney lines and then baked.

  4. December 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

    ok, this gingerbread house is just amazing! it looks amazing and reeeeally yummy! I wish I could do something like this!

    A kiss from Spain!


  5. December 21, 2012 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

    Hello, your house is beautiful! I saw it and I decided to try to make a gingerbread house for my first time. The result is not so perfect like yours, but I’m satisfied! I love it. Thank a lot!:-) Merry Christmas.
    If you would have a look you can find photos on my blog! ciao!:-)

  6. Minh Barrow
    December 28, 2012 at 4:22 am | Permalink


    I have never seen a gingerbread house as beautiful. Thank you for posting.

    Could you please tell me what did you use for the roof on the very first gingerbread house up here? Look like a real roof. Beautiful. I have been looking for something like that I couldn’t find one.

    Thank you for taking your time responding.

  7. Maria Antonietta
    December 29, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    wwwooooowwww it’s absolute a great masterpice….it’s a big home very nice,and the decoration are so’ lovely ..

  8. marian
    December 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

    @ Laura, @ Maria Luisa, @ Maria Antonietta: Thanks so much, your comments mean so much to me

    @ Minh Barrow: Sure, they are cereal… called Shreddies.

  9. Sophie
    January 23, 2013 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

    Hi, this looks AMAZING i would love to make it for this year. Is there any chance i could have the recipe. If you can thanks alot, if not then no worries.

  10. April 7, 2013 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Dear Marianne,
    congratulations, yuo are the best.Please, I have read here and saw your videos in you tube but I can not find your recipe for gingerbread houses,please dear,I really would like to do it for Christmas ,because the last year I made one but it got very hard ( I am soory for my basic English).Iwill be very grateful if you answer me with the recipe.I use my husband e-mail because I have not one.God bless you.I suposse you already know, but a secret a friend of mine gave me for macarons is to let the white eggs uncovered in the fridge for two days and then using them.
    Thanks a lot for your generosity.
    A big hugg from the last country of the map
    Norma Josefina Madrid de Apaz

  11. April 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    Dear Marianne, I do not know if my request was sended,my grandchilds,even the youngest handle the PC in a way I never will,please,dear, I wrote a moment ago in order of beging you the recipe of gingerbread houses,but I do not know to use the PC properly, just in case you have not receive it,I ask you again for it.The last year I made one but the dough was very hard.
    You are the best.God bless you.
    Thanks a lot
    I used my husband e-mail and his website because I have not one.Thanks again and again and congratulations.
    Norma Madrid de Apaz

  12. April 13, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    HI @ Sophie and @ norma josefina madrid: Yes, the recipe is in my recipe section (top of blog) under the cookie section. (You can look there if you’d like to see other cookie recipes). To make it easy for you, here it is:

    Have fun baking! xo

  13. Rosi
    November 13, 2013 at 4:00 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian

    I am currently studying to be a pastry chef, and our next assignment is to make a gingerbread house. I have searched and searched the internet and LOVE your one the most (the top one on this page). Is there any chance you could provide the template for this gingerbread house? I have tried to piece together other templates to replicate this house but its not really working out.

    I would be so grateful if you could share this template with me, it is simply beautiful 🙂


    • marian
      November 13, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Hi Rosi!
      What a great profession to go into!
      Thanks for your compliment! I can’t take the credit for the house design though – the template is by Teresa Layman, from the book Gingerbread for All Seasons (the link to the book is in the post above). I can’t share them because it would be a copyright infringement, sorry!

  14. November 23, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Permalink

    C’è tanta confusione su ciò che di branding significa in realtà che la
    maggior parte delle persone che provarlo finisce per sprecare
    il denaro sufficiente per alimentare un piccolo paese .
    E ‘un riassunto di tutte le buone cose che noi associamo con la stagione delle feste .

    Questo includerà cose come luci e modellini giocattolo , forse una caricatura di Babbo
    Natale che può essere posizionato su qualsiasi piattaforma disponibile casa tetto , o forse un modello a grandezza naturale di una renna coperto
    di lampeggiante LED .

  15. Jess
    December 10, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

    This is my 3 year old and my favorite gingerbread house ever (and we just looked through every house on google images – lol!). You should have gotten first place!

    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      Oh that’s so cute that your 3 year old was looking with you! Thanks for your kind comment!

  16. Valerie
    December 11, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    Where did you find the templates? I love the house! I want to make one for my son’s birthday this year. 🙂

    • marian
      January 2, 2014 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

      Hi Valerie,
      Most are from my favorite gingerbread house author, Teresa Layman.

  17. susan
    December 14, 2013 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Very impressive!
    I am working on my first gingerbread house and was looking for ideas and came across yours. Really fantastic job. I agree with the other poster, you should have gotten first prize in my opinion!

  18. Sheri
    November 6, 2014 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I like to do gingerbread too. Two yrs ago I made a large house, large church and also a village which included a clock tower and street lights. I made the lights by wrapping a pretzel stick with fondant and topping it with a gumball light. I was wondering how u made your porch light on ur house. It’s really cool.

    • November 14, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

      Hi Sheri,
      I used a yellow candy and piped black icing on it for details. Once the details were dry I attached it to the house, simple as that! Have fun decorating!

  19. November 14, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    How do you get the houses to stay up right and not fall?

  20. Ali
    December 19, 2014 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi there~
    I am stunned by how amazing your house looks! (And, totally not brown-nosing, but unless the first prize house had a fully decorated interior complete with stairs, that gold should’ve been yours.)^_^ Again, very impressed!

  21. Thanh Thao
    May 6, 2015 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,
    Yr house is wonderful! (Last year I made one too but in comparison with urs, it was such a nightmare:))
    And what was the roof made from, graham cracker or amother thing? Can we make that at home?
    Anyway, thanks so much for the ideas and inspration. This is the most beautiful house i have ever seen, cant wait to make such one!!!

  22. July 16, 2015 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    It’s impressive that you are getting thoughts from this post as well as from our dialogue made at this time.

  23. Meghan
    December 22, 2015 at 6:05 am | Permalink

    Hi Marian,

    I was wondering if I could just use a variation of one recipe for the thick and thin icing? For example, add more egg white for the icicles and less for the trees?

    Also, with your gingerbread recipe (that I found the link for in one of your replies), how many baking trays do you think it would fill? I’m not sure whether to double up for my gingerbread house or not (I’m making a smaller version of yours, instead of three rooms I’m just making the middle square with the chimney and roof dormer)

    Thank you so much for the tutorial!


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